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Duleep Singh

Early Photographs in the Royal Collection

Cetshwayo ka Mpande, King of the Zulu

Cetshwayo ka Mpande was King of the Zulus from 1872 to 1879. Following his defeat in the Anglo-Zulu war in July 1879, he was exiled first to Cape Town and then, in August 1882, to London. In London, Cetshwayo sought support from British politicians for the restoration of the Zulu monarchy. The British press reported Cetshwayo's visit to London in meticulous detail bringing the issue of restoration and imperial interests to the center of political and public debate.

During his visit, Cetshwayo was photographed by the London photographic studio Alexander Bassano, and his image featured in the Illustrated London News (12 August 1882) and Vanity Fair (26 August 1882). A blue plaque at 18 Melbury Road, Kensington commemorates Cetshwayo's time in London. He returned to Zululand in 1883 where he was reinstated as king. He is remembered as being the last king of an independent Zulu nation. Following his death in February 1884, his son, Dinizulu (1868–1913), succeeded him on 20 May 1884.